Cloud-based applications allowing enterprises to store information on remote servers and to access and collaborate from any location or geography are revolutionizing working practices. More than 25% of enterprises worldwide currently use Office 365, the Microsoft cloud-based suite of solutions delivering email, collaboration tools and web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and SharePoint. But while these collaborative applications offer companies a wealth of benefits, their value fundamentally depends on their performance and quality of experience users receive.
Protecting the performance of these critical applications against exploding recreational but bandwidth hungry applications using the same Internet network resources becomes very important.
1° Each application flow within Office 365 suite needs to be adequately routed and prioritized according to business priority,
2° Office 365 needs to be carefully managed to avoid impacting the performance of other vital applications such as ERPs, VoIP, Video conferencing and Salesforce services.
For example, Outlook downloads containing Word, PowerPoint or Excel files can attain tens or hundreds of Mbytes while Lync desktop video uses between 300kbps and 1Mbps per user – which is several times the average bandwidth provisioned on a typical WAN (usually 50-100 Kbits/employee).
In collaborative scenarios, multiple concurrent flows competing for limited bandwidth will compound network congestion.
To avoid this congestion, enterprises need to:
- Shorten and de-risk their Microsoft Office 365 deployments
- Guarantee daily business continuity
- Understand and stay in-control of all applications over their networks
- Regulate the amount of data sent over their WANs
Just define your application performance objectives in the central management platform according to their business criticality (Top, High, Medium or Low) and let the Ipanema system dynamically:
- Drives application performance over the global WAN according to application performance objectives;
- Protects all applications, including real-time and interactive flows;
- Manages complex meshed flows.
In the case of multiple WAN links (hybrid networks), Ipanema automatically selects the best path; increasing service availability and delivering guaranteed application performance.
Step 1 = SEE
You can’t protect what you don’t see.
Ipanema offers strong visibility on application usages and performances over the network.
Two high-level indicators are computed to assess application performance: MOS and AQS. MOS (Mean Opinion Score) is computed using ITU’s E-Model and applies to voice flows, while AQS (Application Quality Score®) follows an Ipanema proprietary model that applies to all data and video applications. These KPIs allow enterprises to drive the performance from Application Performance Objectives over their global WAN. They are available in multiple formats including an iPhone/iPad application.
The first figure shows the state of the Ipanema AQS (Application Quality Score) which is circled in red. (When AQS = 10, it means excellent service and the field is solid green; when AQS = 0, it means unacceptable service and the field is in solid red). This illustrates a typical situation in a complex network without Ipanema’s control. Outlook and SharePoint (circled), are red and orange, which means a very low AQS. This situation drastically affects all flows, because they share the same queues, and impacts the quality of experience of end users.
Figure 1: Typical performance behavior without apps control
Step 2: CONTROL
In the second figure however, Ipanema controls have been applied and the Office 365 flows have been correctly classified and queued. As a result, the AQS of the Outlook traffic (medium priority) is green for the three sites and Outlook and SharePoint flows have been protected from bulky flows, such as Internet video.
Figure 2: After Ipanema’s objective based control is active
Step 3: MAXIMIZE
Coupled with application visibility, application control and Dynamic Wan Selection, the Ipanema system can also optimize TCP flows. When WAN Optimization is activated in the central management platform, Ipanema appliances generate virtual bandwidth on the WAN. The appliances eliminate redundant patterns of transported flows. For instance, replicated Excel, Word or PowerPoint files can be downloaded or uploaded by multiple users from a web Outlook or SharePoint server. Pattern recognition kicks in after the second transfer, and the required bandwidth for subsequent flows will be reduced dramatically.
On the below screenshot, an example of this can be seen in action, optimizing Outlook downloads for a 20MB Word file. The blue area on the graph denotes the LAN traffic, which from the second pass is much larger than the yellow area that denotes the WAN traffic. Consequently, we see an 80% reduction in the download time the second time round.
Figure 3: After Ipanema’s WAN Optimization is active
Step 4: MONITOR
The Ipanema system provides Cloud Application Monitoring reporting (CAM). These reports show specific Cloud application utilization for customer sites.
In this example we show the number of users, which use SharePoint (Richmond, Greenwich and New-York). You can select which application or applications to monitor. Also shown are the response, request and transaction times of the web server-client dynamics for SharePoint traffic.
Figure 4: Ipanema’s Cloud Application Monitoring for Office 365 Outlook & Share Point
IPANEMA IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO GUARANTEE OFFICE 365 PERFORMANCE
In an age where mobile working and collaboration with International teams has become the norm, cloud-based tools such as MS Office 365 are fundamental business applications. To take full advantages of MS Office 365 in terms of productivity, agility and cost savings, enterprises have to carefully manage and control its performance and end-users experience.